Saturday, June 5, 2010

Making The Story Interesting

After I finished my first few chapters I had one BIG problem with them... they were BORING!

Now I just assumed that it was boring to me because I was the writer, just like if you watch a movie too many times it becomes boring, but it wasn't till a few days ago that I realized how lame and boring it really was... it was so lame that the only way anyone would have read through it was if they had a gun pointed to their head, and maybe even then they might no be able to read it... wasn't the main story line so much as it was that that was all my story was about.....

All I focused on the first time writing was the plot and now I realize that my characters were bland the setting wasn't really much and I though I revealed too much about everything, like I was trying to make the reader understand what was going on... let me rephrase, I explained too much.... the reader needs to be puzzled and have questions, why is the characters doing this? What happened before this? What would happen if they stopped trying to achieve their goal?

These questions I think I tried too much to answer for the reader instead of letting these questions linger on a few chapters before slowly revealing the answers.... this is what makes a compelling story... when no only does the characters have a goal they want to achieve, but also the negative consequences if they don't reach their goal...

Some of you who have read my previous posts know I posted the forst chapter way too much and it sucked anyways, but I am reposting the first chapter once again and I guarentee you, with the exception of the beginning, you wouldn't have been able to know it's the same as the other chapters... All I did was remove my explanations and make a more unique setting...

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Basically your characters and settings are very important, not just the plot.... your story should rely so much on the characters and settings that if they were any different it would be a completely different story....

Copyright 2010 Andrew T. - Get your Copyright needs taken care of at Legal Zoom!

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If one's voice is not heard, has a word ever been spoken?

Chapter 1
- Beginning to an End

There was a boy who preferred to spend his time alone... He sat on the carpet, isolated in his room....There was a window right in front of him and the sun shined brightly upon his hear which was looking down. His left hand thumbed at his lip and his right played and pulled on bright, woolly fibers which made up the warm, sun bleached carpet..... the sun rays shone through the large window and the radiant warmth enfolded him like a comfy, warm blanket. He stared outside and imagined a beach, glistening waters and beautiful scenery. The sand was hot and bright in the mid-day sun and the palm trees cast a deep, inviting shadow that seemed to cool the sand to ice within an instant. There were people playing and laughing and having fun... and it seemed everywhere you looked there was only comfort and delight. It was a wonderful moment that only he could experience and enjoy, and no one else, and he enjoyed it for quite a while...
He forced open his eyes and the trees faded away, the warmth settled down, and he was now staring at a lonely back patio and a filthy, crumbling old brick wall... He slowly stood up, missing the beach already. He held tightly on to one of the fibers he had pulled from the carpet. Then he slowly loosened his grip, and let it slip from his fingers. On to the floor it fell, it splashed onto an ocean of carpet and it blended with everything else around it as it sunk in between the fibers. An image of a bright, glistening ocean appeared before the carpet, but the boy tried to hold back. At that instant he stopped him self from thinking about beaches and oceans and he cleared his mind. He looked up and he felt both determined and sad at the same time... this would be the last time he spent in his imagination world. It was time to grow up, it was time to move on..... and this young boy's name, was Long...

6 years later....
"why does it always seem like the memories of old... were the best we've ever had?"

The leaves scudded across the dry dirt and a crisp breeze whispered by. A single file line of ants marched across the ground carrying leaves thirty times their size, their tiny, black, shielded bodies shimmered in the sun light, their armor was like a shining knight. A loud ring suddenly flooded the area... the fluttering of birds in the distance signaled the disappearance of the natural way of life and within seconds, emerged hundreds of people. There was trash scattered abroad all across the campus and everywhere you look all you'd see is cracked walls, rusty metal, broken doors and hundreds of people. They hustled about... some stopping to talk... some headed straight for their next destination; Some carrying books and some wearing storage bags across their backs... they were high school students. One such student, was quite the eye catcher, his tall stature only paralleled his slender body and unique clothing style. All the girls would take some time to feed their eyes upon his good looks as he passed by, and this young boy's name, was Long.
He paced steadily on a sidewalk carpeted with leaves and littered with trash, towards an isolated, unbalanced lunch table. Many girls blushed and giggled as he passed by... of course he knew, he had gotten used to all the attention and to tell the truth, even though Long had never been in a serious relationship... well... never mind, he was a loser when it came to girls. He dodged through a crowd of people and stepped towards a shady lunch table, which seemed isolated from most of the lunch area. Surprisingly there wasn't much trash surrounding the table. He placed his bag on the concrete floor and sat down, parallel to two friends, Matthew and Andrew.
Long noisily crunched his lunch bag out of his backpack, which only added the mumble of the surrounding school crowd. His lunch wasn't any more than his family could afford, an insipid bologna sandwich complemented by a bag of chips and a juice pouch... BORING!!!! Matthew had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich topped with extra peanut butter, and a lightly toasted bread, crispy and brown. Andrew, had just managed to somehow pull out a rather large, delicate chocolate cake... one could only imagine how it managed to stay in its fragile container all day without spilling its molten delight all over the innards of his back pack... it still remains a mystery. While Long ate he looked around him and all he saw was trash, breaking wood and chattering students. He gazed upon these things in disgust before finally speaking.
"I have good news!" Long declared, just as another friend, Mark, showed up. "Today's the day! Luke finally got hired, and that means we can start making some money!" Luke was Long's little brother, Long's annoyance, Long's follower, and Luke had just sat down at the table.
"Even I was surprised when I found out the store could actually afford to hire me, seeing as it already had one employee."
"It's because that store has so much beer!" Mark said, "The rich and the poor people will always have one thing in common, their love for beer!" Mark noticed Matt was drueling over Andrew's soft cake.
"We've been saving up our money! When the new Mario game came out, we resisted buying it, when the year book went on 'sale' we thankfully avoided that worthless piece of sh---."
A soft conversation grew among the table, but Long impatiently continued,
"and so far, me and Luke had accumulated over $400, started from $0, in the past year... and now that Luke got the job...."
The conversation grew louder, now Matt and Andrew were BOTH eating cake, Andrew didn't have an extra plate, so he simply sliced a piece onto Matthew's palm, who was happily gorging in it...
"Now that Luke finally got the job I think we should seize the opportunity to build up our fortune and then we can finally get out of this trash ridden trashcan of a town" Long said.
"Well it's not like we all can get jobs.." Matt said, "We always apply for work but we never get hired, Luke was lucky enough to get hired, so what are we going to do?"
"That's a good point." Mark said, "There's nothing much we can do.." He gazed upon the crowd of people talking and laughing wildly, he wondered what they could be talking so happily about.
The lunch bell finally rung, and it was back to class time. The commotion of the crowd grew again, and the passing hustle and bustle filled the air. Long turned around, "I..." He stopped as he noticed the only one left at the table was Mark... "I had an idea...."
The bombastic eyes of Andrew stared as he watched Long march off. A feeling of empathy enshrouded him as he perched on the table seat and watched Long walk off into the soft horizon.....
Discouraged, still sitting at the table, Andrew spoke for the first time, "But I was listening..." though no one was sitting at the table anymore.... the surrounding crowd slowly started to shrink until all that remained were mountains and mountains of trash....

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